Workfriendly: Read Blogs and Web Pages Without the Boss Suspecting

Here’s a good way to catch up on all your blog reading and still look like a dedicated employee: read your blogs using Workfriendly! Simply visit the Workfriendly page, enter the URL of the blog or web page you want to read and a pop-up window will appear. It’ll contain the text of the blog or web page you wanted to read, disguised to make it seem as if you’re editing a Microsoft Word document.

For instance, here’s this blog as it would normally appear:

Screen capture of the 'Accordion Guy' blog, the way it's normally seen.

And here it is, as shown by Workfriendly:

Screen capture of the 'Accordion Guy' blog, viewed via Workfriendly: it looks like you're just editing a Word document!

If you’ve got really nosy people reading over your shoulder, Workfriendly has the “boss key”: move the mouse cursor over this button, and the web page you’re reading will be replace by what looks like a Word document with hints on how to overcome procrastination.

Right now, Workfriendly has two themes: Windows XP Blue and Windows XP Silver. I’m sure if you nag them enough (there’s an email link on the Workfriendly page), they’ll make Mac- and Linux-themed ones.

Special Note to the Boss, the CEO and Tucows Investors

I am blogging this purely for entertainment value of Joe Middle Manager and Jane Office Worker and all whose purpose is to merely crank out TPS Reports. Unlike those mindless drones, I am working hard on all my current projects to maximize customer and shareholder value!

In the News

The Protocols of the Drunk Drivers of Malibu, Part 2

'' is still available.

For those of you looking for a domain name for your Mel Gibson-lampooning site needs, is still available. Get it now before someone else does!

In the News

Blogging Across the Front Lines

Lisa Makes the Wall Street Journal

My friend (and fellow Blogware blogger) Lisa Goldman, who blogs at On the Face, is the most prominently featured of several Israeli and Lebanese bloggers covered in an article on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal: In the Midst of War, Bloggers are Talking Across the Front Lines. Here’s an excerpt:

Most of the bloggers in this small group are Western-educated. Some attended the same universities but communicated for the first time in a comment thread on one another’s blogs. Of course, on a blog, it is hard to tell whether a given contributor is in a bombed-out neighborhood in Beirut or an apartment in the U.S. In recent days, many of the Lebanese bloggers in this small community have fled the country, to Syria or Europe or the U.S.

The future of this odd new cross-border community is being tested by the current conflict. Some bloggers have stopped their exchanges. Others are still talking.

The Internet has made it possible “to have a Beirut-Tel Aviv online IM chat in real time,” Ms. Goldman wrote, on her On the Face blog. “That’s what happened to me and this blogger a few nights ago. We chatted while he was sitting on the roof of his apartment building in Beirut watching missiles from Israeli planes fall on his city and describing it to me. He was carrying on an online conversation with another Israeli at the same time.”

The Lebanese blogger, who runs the Lebanese Political Journal blog, won’t disclose his identity because he believes his online chats with Israelis could be considered an act of disloyalty. He says in an email: “Chatting with Israelis from Lebanon during war is very awkward.” But, he says, “One remembers that we are still humans regardless of where the borders lie.”

The Wall Street Journal article is behind a subscription wall, but Lisa’s copied the text of the article and put it on her blog here. The WSJ often syndicates its articles in other papers; the story also appears in the Birmingham News, a newspaper in Birmingham, Alabama.

On the Covers of Time Out

If you’re a suave world traveller like Yours Truly, you’re probably familiar with Time Out magazine, the “what’s hip and happening in the city” magazine that publishes versions for several cities around the world. Two of the cities in Time Out roster are Tel Aviv (where Lisa lives) and Beirut. Lisa has a story about the editors of Time Out’s Tel Aviv and Time Out Beirut. It begins like this:

This is the story of two men, one from Beirut and one from Tel Aviv, who met less than four months ago and formed an instant friendship. They believed that the things they had in common were far more significant than politics – until the twisted reality of the Middle East interfered with that conviction.

In case you hadn’t already seen the covers when Boing Boing linked to them, I’ve posted them below.

Here’s the cover of Time Out Beirut, which was prepared before the war:

Cover of 'Time Out Beirut' from just before the 2006 conflict.
Click the image to see the original on Flickr.

And here’s the July 20th cover of Time Out Tel Aviv, which is based on the classic New Yorker cover that depicted a New Yorker’s view of the world:

Cover of 'Time Out Tel Aviv' from July 2006.
Click the image to see the original on Flickr.


More Pocket Bike Dorkiness

Here’s another post on dork — er — pocket bikes, inspired by my earlier post.

There’s a lot of work involved in making pocket bikes seem cool. Most of it involves posing women beside pocket bikes, either in comic form:

Or in real-life itchy-in-the-pants form:

However, the reality is less glamourous:

Far less glamourous:

Far, far, less glamourous:


"What If That Guy From Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys?"

Billy Corgan, flashing his pout and playing guitar.
Billy Corgan, a.k.a. “That Guy from Smashing Pumpkins“.

Never let it be said that you can’t find a little amusement here on The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century. For your amusement, here’s Stephen Lynch’s comedy routine, What if that Guy from Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys? [1.6 MB MP3].

In the News Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Cracking Down on Dork Bi… — oops — Pocket Bikes

Photo of a pocket bike in action with the caption 'Maybe this is cool and I just can't tell.'

I’m surprised that the Toronto Police have to crack down on pocket bikes; I could’ve sworn that the shame of riding one of those dorky little things would’ve been a sufficient deterrent.

Geek In the News It Happened to Me

"This One Time…at BarCamp…"

BarCampt Toronto logo.

“Organizers call the ‘un-conferences’,” says the teaser line for the article titled “This one time…at BarCamp…”, “with no PowerPoint, unpaid guest speakers and lots of audience participation. Find out how they’re spreading across Canada, and beyond.”

So begins an article over at IT Business that features an interview with some of us involved with Toronto BarCamp and DemoCamp activities: David Crow, Jay Goldman, Bryce Johnson and Yours Truly. We did a phone interview with the article’s author, Grant Buckler, last Tuesday before DemoCamp 8.